INGREDIENTS FOR CHANGE: HONESTY INTELLIGENCE COURAGE
What Brian Cowen Should Do?
Food supplies will be scarce and expensive before 2011
The fat is in the fire - Ireland is in Serious Danger
Wake up - There is an Elephant in the room
(Busy producing murderous stress)
Agriculture Rapid Response to Innovation is Essential in 2008
1. The World & Us – A fragile space – banks to politics
In 2006 the dramatic rise in the price of oil, the rise in the price of grain, bread, and milk were predicted. The only thing that was wrong with my predictions of 30% increases was that they were too low – Don’t kid yourself this trend is set to continue food and clean water – oil of the future. Now oil price has doubled and Mr Greenhouse the weather man is here.
Ireland prides itself, rightly or wrongly on being an independent developed country with a resilient intelligent race of people but we have become bureaucratically hide bound. We are part of the Earth population that is now committed to battling against the Greenhouse affect and all its potential capability to bring about the end of modern mankind upon the earth - could be within 60 years. Before we preach to the world let us first fix core problems in our own country, before it’s too late to mend our ways – The Lisbon Treaty can wait. Make haste slowly when it comes to ethnic adjustments stability/mobility. Take it easy.
Cosmetic answers and long term useless solutions are being dished up as daily fodder in newspapers, on television and radio. They will have very little effect the way things are going. Probably the rich will survive, and the poor will get much poorer the way things are going – riotous famines will ensue – as in pre French Revolution Paris. It is on the cards. The voracious modern man – no longer homosapiens.
However, the most effective solutions (both world and national) are staring us in the face but we lack the wisdom and courage to even mention them. There is a limit to the capacity of Mother Earth to carry a rapidly expanding voracious population and all that that entails. The problems are directly related to population expansion, wars, planes and the trappings of wealthy nations, most notably, motor cars, air conditioning and excessive populations of animals for eating, scarcity of pollution free water.
In the past 40 years the Chinese obliged the world by committing themselves to containing their population expansion. The rest of us should face up to it and say ‘the future must be a stable world population “as is” or less (world population has more than doubled since 1968);-
These are simply major international trends to which we must configure or suffer eternal perpetual disaster worldwide.
2. Re-organise modernise the over expensive and ineffective Irish Elephant – The Elephant family can no longer go on hiding behind anonymity. The public service must answer professional queries and not be allowed to ignore or fudge reality.
The elephant, we must recognise in Ireland, is the ever expanding Public Service, which is certainly becoming (1) less efficient, (2) less productive and (3) much, much more expensive every year (4) worst of all they have become so arrogant and smug that they would override and subvert our democratically elected Ministers by deceit through bureaucratic convolutions.
The better examples of Public Service mismanagement that we all recognise are the HSE which is totally out of proportion to what it delivers in terms of staff numbers and cost. The same applies to the Department of Agriculture and some other Departments to a lesser degree. The army of Civil Servants are hired, it would seem, to deliver intelligent work, but instead structures seem to become a mass of paper shuffling dipsticks rendering over duplication of quazi production.
This is well depicted at numerous levels.
(a) A hospital wing standing virtually idle for over 10 years in Mullingar,
(b) Cancer scanning equipment in its wrappers in Cork for over 15 months and
(c) as a personal experience of an attempt to introduce an innovative highly desirable national project was typically committed to over 3 years delay in the Department of Agriculture – the Minister wished for it to succeed the bureaucrats simply frustrated it. Be fair Brian Cowen and Brendan Smith fixed it in 3 weeks July 2008. This farcical, anti-democracy and over expensive failure cannot continue. If this continues emigration is once again, the best option for our young people – but there will be nowhere to go in 3 years time.
3. What can we do with our Public Service?
We must down size it - Fast
Let’s assume that each individual in it is initially ambitious to deliver benefit to the State and improve their personal value for their working life. All young people begin like that. After about 5 years in the Public Service they become sponges for national expenditure and squeezed rags producing very little. Of course, there are at least 10% effective, hard working Public Servants in Ireland and 2½% decision makers. To modernise this Elephant we have to improve productivity and reduce duplication. The emphasises on the levels of decision making must become significantly better developed. Passing memorandums up and up and up and then down and down and down for years and years is not a contribution to society. It is simply theft.
Senior Officers that work in the Ministries related to enterprise Public Service should be allowed apply their talents to private enterprise within the parameters laid down by statutory aids to promote industry and allocate grants for R&D innovation etc.
In the case of higher class Civil Servants, this independent option should be raised to allow each of the higher Civil Servants to allocate without going through 6 committees as much as the equivalent of 1/5 of their annual salary to private entrepreneurs. Later on promotion would depend on project success. Cut out parish pump quangoes.
In terms of agriculture, we need to put back the clock and redeem and restore the Irish sugar industry or a vibrant fruit and veg industry. This industry was completely ‘wiped out’ in one night by bureaucrats at the world trade organisation negotiations in recent years, thus stripping a large section of Irelands most advanced and skilled agricultural producers in this country of their income and the right to practice their well developed skills. These losses mean that we now import all our sugar. We are rapidly coming to the time again where our sugar, potatoes etc should be produced in Ireland as a basic fortress food requirement – a sugar co-op Sean Lemass style is feasible in 2008 – or are we facing more WTO sabotage as a fore runner to worse destruction of which we will repent in anger in the very near future (3 years max).
4. Agriculture Advisory Service – They trample on innovation
GPS (2001), Bio stimulants (2003), Fertilan (2005), Sinn (2008).
Teagasc, The Government, the Agricultural Advisory Service has completely failed to move with the times. It should be privatised or at least put on a par with the private sector.
The agricultural research division, An Foras Talúntas, which is now buried in the Department of Agriculture monster should once again be set free to operate as an independent research hub as was the intention of the founder Dr. Tom Walsh, some 50 years ago.
Innovation in Ireland is completely trampled on and is only a subject for rhetoric with no delivery service only meaningless paper articles. We have an outreach active program for emigrants none for innovators. I can cite at least 5 very important innovative options that have been buried by the current public service known as the Department of Agriculture – 3 of them have now gone outside the State already.
5. Extension of working life – Public Service show utter contempt for ageism
In every town in Ireland the coffee shops are full of highly skilled early retired, highly intelligent able active senior personnel with valuable experience. This great national resource is being wasted as there is no channel through which this valuable experience can be applied.
Brian Cowen should immediately put in place a scheme whereby these people, could find engagements as low cost mentors. As things stand, it does not prove to be encouraging if one has a pension to go back to work.
Agriculture has been the backbone of Ireland socially and economically for over a century and while the past 40 years has seen rapid industrial development. Agriculture and the use of Irish land should surely be the camel’s hump of the nation. This camel’s hump is now in disarray due to the unrelenting increase in bureaucratic interference in every single aspect of farming in Ireland. It seem that this self perpetuating army of largely negative value persists solely to justify keeping the numbers up in the Civil Service Register, not part of the live register. Once employed you can’t sack them? The departmental interference runs at a penal level from the moment a calf is born to the day it reaches the butchers block. Farmers nowadays are form fillers, book-keepers, not farmers; the thing is completely out of hand and rendering Irish food production less competitive. Why do many formerly small cheese producers import from France, Italy, Holland etc – they were overcome by Irish bureaucracy. The ever demanding bureaucratic structures operate and dictate proceedings on the basis that every farmer is a thief and not to be trusted, whereas the reverse might well be a better expression of the reality. People who waste time and are paid for it are little better than thieves.
6. Crime and Violence
Brian Cowen as Taoiseach is in a good position to encourage and initiate some drastic change in our method of addressing penalties for physical crimes. The best solution maybe is that there should be the Irish equivalent of the French Foreign Legion; all those convicted of physical crimes should be obliged to join this army of people who would in turn be used to build prisons and other core national projects of the government. This should be the only way that they could possible get any remission on their prison sentence and keep the country relatively free of violence on the street and theft in our homes – this could work and reduce the cost of crime to the nation and give satisfaction to victims of violence (shackles not phones).
7. Protect the Irish Indigenous Race – Could be further undermined if we say “Yes” to Lisbon
We have reached the farcical stage with our so-called world citizen rights that we are now, as Irish people, at a disadvantage when we apply for a job in our own country. In every employment assessment of the points that would be used to rate candidates there should be 10% of the points related to the customer/client preference e.g. an Irish Radiographer versus a Chinese Radiographer, the first 100 clients should be asked which would they prefer. Therefore, if there was a close call, at least the Irish person should have, unashamedly so, have the right to a justified preference in the selection points system for a job in their own country – Why Not. The customer is always right.
8. Waste & Recycle – This is getting better everyday
There should be greater emphasis on reusing. For instance, it costs approximately 15c to melt down and remake a bottle, how about making it mandatory to have 10c refundable on every half pint glass bottle that is returned, intact – ready for reuse or like the plastic bag model have a bottle tax – solves the drink problem. Then we can do it with cans and everyone will be happy to be sober and tidy – very green.
9. Round Table Intelligence (A Swiss canton derivative)
Every county should have a circulating non political round table of merit i.e. a local Senate. If there were 12 people then one of them would be replaced every 2 months. The function of each local Senate would be to pick out and push for the rapid implementation of bureaucratically delayed innovation and industry and services and likewise to complain and highlight delays in local implementation imposed by inefficiency within the Public Service – local and Dublin.
10. Unassailability – Bureaucracy V Democracy – The Elephant
Duplication, inefficiency and dramatic over-protection of the individual in the public service is the big elephant in the Irish room. That “big elephant” badly needs to be driven out into the open spaces where foraging to survive as is the need of the private sector would have to be relearned. The only way to avoid drastic reduction in living standards in Ireland over the next 20 years is to completely re-gig the concept of Public Service and the expectations of its personnel. This is the future. If we don’t wake up in the next twelve months, we will become just another little Croatia. Please no more fat cats purring in the Irish Public Service – The bureaucrats love the Lisbon Treaty – it will make them more unassailable than ever – McElvaddy is right.
We must robustly confront the problems confronting Ireland. They are far more important that the Lisbon treaty. Closing our eyes and making cosmetic gestures in the daily media will avail nothing. The real honeymoon is over and the tiger is not the marrying kind – he has moved on to ABC – Australia, Brazil & China.
11. Get Smart – Cop on – Essential to Avoid Collapse within Ireland
Tough Times need a National Economic Defence Plan – Democratically Driven
There are certainly tough times ahead. It is essential for the government to be able to introduce defensive economic measures to protect the people of Ireland if things in Europe generally get twisted – in an expanded Europe who will care about us – No-one. Eastern Europe will take our spot. We will be on our own again.
There is no doubt the Lisbon Treaty will make it more difficult for any Irish Government to turn our small ship around in times of national distress. You can do this or that Brussels says so ??? – try telling the French that – bog off.
12. Cap Immigration with Proportionality
We need to cap the immigration quota figure at somewhere between 35,000 and 60,000 people in any one year for the 26 counties. We as an ethnic nation should not be expected to allow outside influences to force a doubling of the Irish population within a 20 year framework as is now taking place.
As we face a difficult future it is quite clear that the focus on large industrial establishments, as we enjoyed in the 60’s and 70’s is now well and truly lost to Asia, India and East Europe (Dell type). It is clear that in order to keep employment in a positive state, the establishment of small innovative industries in Ireland must be accommodated in every way – not strangled with the elephant’s red tape. For too long the Elephant has been able to stamp out innovation using bureaucratic obstruction and delays on a grand scale often ruining the small innovator with great potential to generate national wealth. Instead as a reward for his concept of innovation he is driven into the ground by the full weight of red tape and bureaucratic obstruction and eventually forced to leave Ireland. That is current reality; let no one say otherwise in Ireland. It is happening now.
Ireland as a small sovereign state probably can ride out the storm of international financial stress that is all around us. This is only possible Irish if the Elephant is not immobilised or castrated by EU laws but instead made productive and reduced drastically in numbers. Where the Public Service elephant is involved in major national projects such as hospital building, where it takes 17 years under public direction as opposed to 5 years under private direction; this cannot go on – cop on.
Equally sending out expensive professional people to count calves and organic chickens on farms and check out cows that would dare to have twin calves is a ridiculous waste of scarce national resources. Get rid of at least 1,000 public staff in the Dept. of Agriculture now – it would induce reality efficiently.
The Swiss model of e-voting on local issues could greatly influence the performance of the Public Service and force it to become relatively efficient and more aware of the needs of the individual in the private sector. The private sector is the key to generating national stability and wealth, whether it is in agriculture, construction or general service industries. Is this a free enterprise country or is it to become an international dumping ground for world migration. ‘Be generous’ by all means but don’t over burden the national donkey at the behest of overprotected pet public Elephants with red tape and nothing to contribute to the national needs of the Irish nation.
Facing a new world – for rural Ireland - NOW NOW NOW – Not tomorrow
Get smart as a nation or Ireland will perish and the EU will leave us stew in our own stupidity – inefficiency and red tape. Don’t let bureaucrats bury democracy. A nation once again.
13. Regenerating the Dept. of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture – Regression – There is no progress due to stubborn resistance to innovation (Edmund Burke 1790).
Change now - Plan for Prosperity – Save €300m P.A.
This is just a reality check
It is based on perceived necessity arising from service as observed during the past 6 years from the Department of Agriculture, which is run by a ‘pass the buck army culture’. The following changes are recommended:-
14. Target: - Improve and Save €300m P.A. and much more
1. Re-establish the Dr Tom Walsh agriculture institute as an independent research unit – No loss, no financial gain to exchequer, but better service for farmers and government with a rapid response unit for innovators.
2. Privatise the Agricultural Technical Advisory Service i.e. down size Teagasc 50%, save €70m P.A.
3. Reduce the surfeit of staff of the Department of Agriculture by 1,000. Savings €50m per annum.
4. Establish export focused fruit and veg processing industry to replace Irish Sugar Ltd at EU expense – a producer Co-op will generate €100m minimum per annum of import substitution and exports.
5. Re-establish a Nadcorp (of the 80’s) style of funding and management service to assist small industry and innovation development – Nadcorp delivered. This will reduce start-up lead time, greatly reduce quango administration cost of small Grant for small entrepreneurs. Stop waste of national funds quangoes. Save €70m PA.
6. G.E.R.P on Equity Release Programme for Reps farmers could release €3 Bn per annum for investment in Rural Ireland ( 2 page detailed proposal available)
The foregoing will save Ireland €300 (min) per annum or €1.5bn Approx in 5 years
15. The Department of Agriculture was founded to financially enable teaching and to Coordinate improve and assist implementation for the everchanging face of Agriculture in Ireland.
Buy Irish - Every Little Helps – The Working Man.